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ABT's Misty Copeland Appears on CUNY TV's BLACK AMERICA Today

The newest edition of the weekly BLACK AMERICA television series with Emmy-winning host Carol Jenkins features an on- location interview with Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre's first female African-American Principal Dancer, who movingly shares her ambition and discipline to succeed as a role model for "little brown girls," particularly in classical dance roles that were considered off-limits to women African Americans.

The interview, with video clips from the documentary A Ballerina's Tale and commercials for Under Armour and Seiko, covers Copeland's childhood, her early fascination with gymnastics, her adoption by a mentor who believed in her abilities and encouraged her as a dancer, her recent meeting with President Obama, and her BELIEF that "dancers are rock stars" who should be acknowledged and rewarded like sports figures and other celebrities in American society.

Copeland's significant achievements include not only the greatest roles in ballet (The Firebird and Swan Lake's Odette/Odile among them); a recent appearance in Broadway's musical revival of On the Town in a strenuous dancing and singing role; an autobiography, Life in Motion; a children's book about The Firebird; and a Misty Copeland-as-Firebird BARBIE doll, with, she laughs, "calves, thighs and a bust," that she insisted the doll have. She visibly tears up when speaking of meeting all of "the little brown girls" in the audience for whom she is an inspiration and to whom she feels a profound responsibility.

This latest edition of BLACK AMERICA premieres in the New York metropolitan area on CUNY TV* tonight, May 11 (2016) at 7:30am, 1:30pm and 8pm; Saturday, 5/14 at 10:30 am and 6pm; Sunday, 5/15 at 11:30pm; and Tuesday, 5/17 at 11:30pm.

Beginning Wednesday 5/11 the program may be viewed anytime online.

BLACK AMERICA is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy Award-winning New York City journalist and founding president of The Women's Media Center. Except when on location, BLACK AMERICA is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and will soon be distributed to participating public television stations nationwide. Producers are Duane Ferguson and Audra D. West. Director is Audra D. West. Executives in charge of production are Susan Iger and Gail R. Yancosek. Executive Director of CUNY TV is Robert Isaacson.

*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast in the New York metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3 and cablecast in the city's five boroughs on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Optimum Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS).

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